Creating an effective Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT) is not as simple as broadcasting a standard, classroom-style or Instructor Led Training (ILT) lecture. There is an art to creating a virtual classroom and it takes a different design mentality to address the important differences between the two. In order to deliver a fresh, appealing and engaging VILT that encourages discussion and collaboration, apply the following three tips.
- Think Short and Engaging
One of the challenges facing facilitators of VILT is the inability to know when they’ve lost their audience. In the traditional classroom setting, you can read the room and break when necessary to keep engagement and interaction to a maximum but the same is not true for VILT. When designing your sessions, be sure to chunk them down and keep them engaging.
A few good ways to do so include:
- Include break out rooms, where learners can interact among themselves in a separate window on scheduled breaks.
- Separate longer sessions into smaller chunks and allow learners to brainstorm and ask questions in between.
- Include multimedia elements to any slide decks or presentations such as video, audio, infographics, animation, games and polling.
- Think Collaborative and Interactive
One of the key elements to the success of any VILT is the learner’s ability to interact and collaborate with one another, and their instructors, as if they’re in a live, in-person training. This enhances retention of the information and increases engagement while reducing costs.
A couple of good ways to do so include:
- Include a text chat feature that allows participants to chat with one another as well as ask questions and also allows the instructor to pose questions and provide answers.
- Use social media to create a community space for the event that can be accessed before and after to introduce everyone and provide supplemental discussion and resources.
- Think Customization
Similar to designing a mobile eLearning program, it’s good to keep in mind that content must be customized to fit the platform. This may require specific changes to content from an expert.
You’ll want to be sure to manage unnecessary images and content, as cluttered visuals can become distracting. You’ll also want to keep your text short and meaningful as long chunks of text are extremely disengaging. Also keep in mind that a graphic-rich presentation is more effective than text-rich. And be sure to enhance important concepts and points through audio. These design changes need to be kept in mind to ensure the efficiency of your VILT.
There are many benefits to incorporating VILT into your organization’s learning and development programs. But in order to be effective, it must be designed carefully with a full understanding of the differences between VILT and traditional ILT. In order to reap the benefits of cost savings and improved learning outcomes, use the tips above to avoid the common pitfalls.
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